Standard disclaimer – the ‘migratenotes’ posts come from a Notes Migration blog that I wrote from 2007-2010. More Info
Once again, comments and emails have given me some insight into questions and false assumptions that some Notes people may have.
Namely, they assume that the recommendations given by Microsoft partners will apply to a Notes migration. And while certainly much of their technical advice is valid, the underlying viewpoint of a Microsoft partner is going to miss an extremely important piece of information about a Notes shop:
The current collaboration in a Notes shop is NOT based around Microsoft Office. Notes people do not email spreadsheets back and forth. They do not use Access databases, or share documents via email. They already have a collaboration infrastructure in place, and are not starting from scratch.
Sharepoint was designed to give organizations their first stab at collaboration. Its primary strength is to take Office documents, and share them on the web. While I am sure this is a great help to many organizations, as a Notes professional, it just doesn’t impress me that much.. SharePoint is an immature product. It has flaws and weaknesses, and we have already addressed some of them on this blog.
But those weaknesses get exaggerated when we go out deliberately looking for flaws, and this type of exaggeration is exactly what I want to avoid here. Let’s call out the weaknesses, but lets not spin SharePoint’s faults into something worse than it really is.
With that in mind, lets talk about MOSS. MOSS is the “Microsoft Office SharePoint Server.” It adds functionality to SharePoint. But not as much as people think. the plain old freebie SharePoint install is what gives you most of the programmability of SharePoint. And because a Notes shop is already used to doing a certain level of development for their apps, that is the level of complexity that most Notes shops really need.
So when you see lists of the technologies from Microsoft that you must install and learn to run a SharePoint environment, take them with a grain of salt. Maybe in the future, your organization will reach that level of complexity. But to start a migration, you really just need a few things, most of which you probably already have:
- Web Server (IIS/ASP.NET, with SharePoint services installed)
- SQL Server (technically optional, but realistically you need it to have any scalability.)
- Exchange Server (and even this is optional)
- Backups for the above.
What I am finding is that because SharePoint has limitations and weakness on its programmability, most Notes professionals do not accept its built-in functionality. So they step down into C#, and write custom .NET code. And while people will tell you that this is much harder than using the rest of the Microsoft platform, it greatly simplifies your infrastructure needs. (Not to mention costs.)
Again – as your Microsoft platform grows, you probably will add on more tools and end up with a more complex infrastructure. But the assumption that it takes a ton of effort to get going on SharePoint just isn’t correct.